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Myrtle Beach completes sweep of Salem Red Sox

salem red soxThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans began a week-long road trip with an 0-4 record, but head back home in first place having won seven straight games. Contrastingly, the Salem Red Sox came home from a season-opening road trip with a 4-0 mark, but faltered after taking two out of three against the Dash to start the homestand. On Monday afternoon, the Pelicans powered past the Sox again, prevailing 9-6 to complete the four-game sweet and exact their revenge for Salem’s four straight wins by the beach.
Jorge Alfaro and Preston Beck delivered back-to-back doubles in Myrtle’s four-run sixth inning, transforming a 6-3 deficit into a 7-6 advantage. Additionally, Joey Gallo drove in four runs with an early two-run blast and a pair of late sacrifice flies in the seventh and ninth innings, respectively, to give the Pelicans breathing room on a windy, overcast day in the Roanoke Valley.
Five different Red Sox finished with multiple hits, with Jonathan Roof going 3-for-5 and Matty Johnson driving in three runs, but the Sox stranded 10 men on base for the second straight day. Missing key opportunities, Salem finished its first homestand 2-5 and dropped to 6-5 on the season, falling out of first place for the first time in 2014.
Alfaro’s solo homer in the second got the scoring started for Myrtle Beach, but Johnson drilled a three-run double in the home half of the frame, vaulting the Sox in front 3-1. Retaliating with power, Gallo launched a two-run dinger to left field to tie the game at three in the top of the third.
The Sox mustered another three-run rally in the last of the fourth, with Carson Blair, Ryan Dent, and Kevin Heller all driving in runs to give Salem a 6-3 lead. The edge only lasted until the sixth, though, with starter Kyle Kraus giving up a hit and a walk before giving way to the bullpen. In relief, Madison Younginer surrendered four runs in the frame, two of which were charged to him.
Consequently, Younginer suffered the loss, his first since September of 2012 (He went 6-0 last year). The win belonged to Alexander Claudio, who delivered four and two-thirds solid innings out of the Pelicans bullpen, yielding three runs on five hits. Keone Kela tossed two scoreless frames to close it out, earning his third save.
Heller reached base four times for Salem, with two hits and two walks, giving him eight straight games on base to begin the season. Heller’s batting .440 (11-for-25) with an on-base percentage of .563.
The Red Sox will kick off a week-long road trip through Carolina and Winston-Salem beginning on Tuesday. The action starts at Five Country Stadium as the Sox and Mudcats square off in a three-game set. Luis Diaz will start for Salem in the opener, while Carolina counters with Michael Peoples. First pitch is scheduled for 7 PM.